ICYMI: Administration Continues to Expand Small Business Access to Health Plans
HARRISONVILLE, MO – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) applauded the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent actions to allow groups, associations, and sole proprietors to sign up for association health plans (AHPs). On December 3, 2018, the Department released updated filing forms and guidance, providing groups the first opportunity to register for AHPs under the more accessible system put into place by the Trump Administration. This follows up on the rule issued by the Department earlier this year in June that expanded the availability and accessibility to health plans for individuals associated through similar trades or organizations.
“I’m thrilled the Administration is moving forward to ensure more Americans have access to affordable health care,” Hartzler said. “According to industry experts, 4.3 million people will leave the inadequate Obamacare exchanges over the next five years in favor of association health plans. These plans will put small businesses and solo entrepreneurs on a level playing field with large businesses when it comes to purchasing health insurance.”
The Department of Labor’s move to expand access to AHPs was prompted by the President’s directive to his Administration in October 2017 to find ways to expand choices and alternatives to Obamacare and increase competition to bring down costs for consumers. The Department of Labor finalized a rule earlier this year expanding access to AHPs, which are a type of insurance arrangement allowing groups of individuals or small employers to band together to purchase health coverage, this summer.
AHPs allow small groups and individuals to pool their resources and purchase coverage at better rates than they would be able to do on their own, enabling them to obtain health insurance on similar terms as larger businesses. “This is a great option for qualifying families seeking more affordable health insurance,” Hartzler added.
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